GNRC Fifth Forum
Arigatou International convened the GNRC Fifth Forum in Panama City, Panama, from 9th to 11th May 2017. The forum was attended by 526 participants, among them religious leaders, members of diverse faith communities, leaders of faith-based organizations, United Nations officials, representatives of international and grassroots organizations from around the world, and children.
A pre-forum meeting also brought together 64 children from around the world from 6th to 8th May 2017.
The theme for the forum was: “Ending Violence Against Children: Faith Communities in Action.”
The GNRC Fifth Forum built on the work that GNRC members from diverse faith traditions had been doing since the year 2000, working for and with children, to build a better world for children. Working locally, nationally, and globally, to address several of the key challenges facing children, prioritizing areas such as child rights, education, poverty, and violence.
The forum focused specifically on solutions for the challenges presented by various forms of violence against children, broken down into three sub-themes; “Protecting Children from Violent Extremism, Gang Violence and Organized Crime”; “Nurturing Spirituality and Ending Violence in Child Upbringing”; and “Ending Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children,” focusing specifically on the role of faith communities in addressing these challenges—especially through interreligious cooperation
In bringing faith communities together to address violence against children, the forum sought to foster contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG 16.2 focusing on ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and all forms of violence against and torture of children. Other SDG targets the forum sought to address include ending violence against women and girls (SDG 5.2 and 5.3), ending the economic exploitation of children (SDG 8.7), keeping children safe in schools and communities, and promoting peace and non-violence (SDG 4.a, 4.7, 11.2 and 11.7).
The Fifth Forum saw the launch of the Panama Declaration of Ending Violence Against Children. The Panama Commitments aim to promote and eradicate any form of violence against children. All participants of the Fifth Forum resolved to commit to 10 declarations to end violence against children.
View the comprehensive report of the GNRC Fifth Forum.
Influencers’ Thoughts on Child Violence